If you are going to the gym routinely, but not seeing the results you would like, your workout habits might be to blame. From having the right shoes, to eating the right foods, small changes to your exercise regime can help you get the most out of your time at the gym so that you don’t waste time or effort. These small changes make a big difference. We’ve put together our top 5 fitness tips for getting a better, more effective workout.
1. Go to the gym with a plan.
You might be surprised at how much time is wasted standing around, deciding what to do next. Having a plan before heading to the gym can make your workouts shorter and more effective. It will keep you from wasting time and it will guide you through an efficient routine.
If you’re in need of a workout plan, check out our free 30-Day Summer Body Calendar. It will guide you through 30 days of free workouts for a total body transformation. You can also browse all of our fitness routines to find workouts that suit your needs.
2. Make it a challenge.
In order to get visible results, your workout needs to be a challenge. This means that as your fitness level improves, your workouts should get more intense as well.
One way to challenge yourself is to set small goals. You can use these as milestones to guide you as you improve. If you ran three miles today, make it your goal to run five miles. If you completed an arm routines using 10 lb. dumbbells, make it your goal to use 15 lb. dumbbells. Once you complete a goal, reward yourself with a spa day or a new outfit you’ve been wanting.
3. Be realistic about the calories you’ve burned.
Many people treat themselves to dessert of high-calorie foods after a workout because they believe they’re just replacing the calories they already burned. The truth is that it’s very difficult to burn off a 500-calorie ice cream sundae in a 1-hour workout.
Most treadmills and many workout apps will give you an estimate of calories burned. Another option is to use a workout watch. These usually come with small heart monitors that will accurately estimate calories burned using your heart rate and weight.
4. Have the right pre-workout and post-workout snack.
It’s a pain to drag through a workout when your stomach is full or bloated. What’s more, if you exercise without giving your stomach time to digest, you might get sick or nauseous.
Having the right pre-workout snack can help you avoid these moments. Aim to eat something that will be light on your stomach, but still provide you with plenty of quick energy for running, jumping, and lifting. Fruits and snacks made with natural sugars are ideal. For great ideas check out these no-bake fruit bars, or browse through our energy recipes. Having a small dose of caffeine can also help you have a better workout. It will give you the energy you need to power through cardio and lifting.
Similarly, having the right post-workout snack can help you get better results. After your workout, your body needs protein in order to rebuild broken muscle. If you’re trying to build muscle, it’s also important to consume some quick calories to prevent your body from staying in a catabolic state, where it breaks down hard-earned muscle tissue for fuel. Check out some of our favorite quick & easy post-workout recipes!
5. Wear the right clothes.
Getting good gym clothes is an investment. Nevertheless, if you’re spending several hours at the gym every week, this investment could help you get better results. Having clothes that don’t chafe during cardio, that won’t ride up, and that allow your skin to breathe properly can help you have better, more enjoyable workout. Additionally, having the proper shoes can help you avoid injuries. This is especially true if you’re doing cardio. Having the proper shoes will provide essential support to your ankles, heels, and knees.